Three local government areas (LGA) in Southeast Queensland along with Townsville and Palm Island will go back to Stage 2 restrictions under the state's COVID Safe Future roadmap, as authorities grow concerned about emerging clusters of the virus after six local community cases were reported overnight.
The changes will be in place for two weeks starting from 4pm today in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Logan and the two aforementioned North Queensland areas, and include a return to the one person per four square metres rule in restaurants and cafes, a cap of 30 on household visitors including residents, and a 100-person limit at weddings and funerals.
Capacity at sporting events will decrease to 75 per cent, including Sunday’s NRL Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium, while dancing will also be banned at venues, except for weddings where a maximum of 20 people are allowed to dance.
"I think everyone realises that we've got to put these restrictions in place if we are to avoid a lockdown at this stage," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a press conference this morning.
"I'm quite sure that we will be able to get through this like we did previously if we all do the right thing," she said.
"The next 24-48 hours is absolutely crucial."
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath urged Queenslanders to get tested for COVID-19 and highlighted wait times for testing were very short. She also reiterated yesterday's announcement that all clinics in the Sunshine State had now pivoted to offering walk-in vaccinations.
Queensland currently has the second-lowest double-dose vaccination rate in the country at 46.7 per cent as of today, putting it in a relatively challenging position compared to other states and territories for a prospective opening.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said four of the six new cases were linked to the aviation cluster.
"We think the event where all these people were exposed and got infected happened on the 20th of September," she said, explaining it was likely people from the cluster started being infectious in the community on 21 September.
Dr Young said there were people from the aviation cluster residing in the Brisbane suburb of Hamilton, Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast, North Lakes and Eatons Hill in Moreton Bay, and Townsville.
"Seven of them are currently in Queensland, one of them is currently in New South Wales, and as a result of those people being out infectious in the community from the 21st, we have multiple exposure venues across Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Gold Coast and Townsville," she said.
Queensland Health continues to update its list of exposure sites, with several locations recently added in Brisbane City, Spring Hill, Hamilton, Carindale and Cannon Hill in Brisbane, as well as the Gold Coast suburbs of Mermaid Waters, Merrimac, Surfers Paradise and Nerang.
The two unlinked cases announced today include a Camp Hill woman who travelled to the NSW town of Kyogle where she came into contact with a known case, and a Queensland resident who flew from Melbourne to Brisbane on a Virgin Australia flight on 27 September and went into hotel quarantine and got tested as per the protocol.
"She has Delta that is not clustering with any known case in Queensland which is to be expected as we believe she's acquired that when she's been in Melbourne, so we will be out to look at her whole genome sequence against those sequences circulating in Melbourne," Dr Young said.
"Although we haven't seen any community cases expand out from any of these known clusters, there are so many of them now which is a concern, so I think it's important that we do some put some restrictions back in place as I advised the Premier this morning.
"Thank you, I know they're annoying for people, but people are so good at following them. So we know homes are the highest risk so that's why we're bringing back that maximum of 30 people in anyone's home, and we know gatherings like weddings and funerals so that's why there's the limit of 100 there, plus we need people to return to being seated when they're eating and drinking.
"Keep your mask on unless you're seated and eating or drinking."
Updated at 10:51am AEST on 30 September 2021.
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